Glen Clements only needs to vote for himself in this November’s election to be the next mayor of Manhattan.
And he doesn’t even have to get the most votes.
Clements is the only person technically eligible for the position. He submitted an application of intent to be a write-in candidate to the Gallatin County Clerk and Recorder’s Office. And no one else did.
Under Montana law, if Clements had applied to be a formal candidate in the mayor’s race, all write-in names would have counted. But because he’s the only registered write-in candidate and no one is on the regular ballot, none of the other write-in names can be counted.
“As long as he votes for himself, he’ll be the mayor,” said Charlotte Mills, Gallatin County clerk and recorder.
Clements sat down at a restaurant in Four Corners on Friday where he ordered his usual chicken, bacon and cheese sandwich with a side of fries. He said he was excited to take the post after the election inevitably swayed in his favor.
“I won’t get rich being mayor, but I’ll probably get a few gray hairs,” he said.
The current stipend for the position pays $730 a month, which can change during budget discussions.
Clements, a U.S. Navy veteran and geological engineer with experience in the civil engineering field, has lived in Manhattan for six years. Over that time, he said he’s seen a real need for the Manhattan Town Council to address street maintenance, snow plowing and storm drain issues.
He said with his background, he’d help guide the conversation about the city’s infrastructure. He said he is excited to be part of the small town’s growth.
“I just want to be a part of that and help us grow in the right direction,” he said.
The decision to run for mayor came from his neighbors, who are the city’s secretary and her husband, a police officer in town. They both told Clements that no one was running for the position and encouraged him to take the reins.
Clements also said his decision to be mayor can be attributed to his father, who is the self-proclaimed mayor of Silver Star, a small Montana community that doesn’t have a government.
“It’s just been a joke he’s told people for years,” Clements said.
All jokes aside, Clements said he would look out for Manhattan and make it a place his kids would want to live. He said he is excited to step in and fill the position that nobody else wanted.
When asked whether he would vote for himself in the November election, he said, “Oh yeah, absolutely.”